1. Usually sexual predators are strangers. So, if parents watch their children like hawks at parks they will be protected from sexual abuse.
False. Telling children that strangers are the only danger protects them from approximately 8% of sexual abuse. Well over 90% of pedophiles are people you know, trust, & invite into your home. Educating children empowers them.
2. Sexual predators stand out in a crowd.
False. Sexual predators do not have a look. They are masked predators, typically appearing kindhearted. In order to build trusting relationships with family members & children they must be charming.
3. Children whose father is a pedophile will molest all of his children.
False. Pedophiles often study children & test their boundaries to see if those children will keep quiet about the abuse. They usually chose the compliant children.
4. Children must respect adults’ wishes at all times.
False. If a child feels uncomfortable around a certain person, validate that feeling. Do not force them to hug, kiss, or spend time with that adult, child, or teen.
5. I would know if my child were being sexually abused.
Not necessarily. Often children are afraid to tell because of the influence the perpetrator has in a family or community. Also, children may not understand what is happening to them, if they have not been educated.
5. Sleepovers are okay as long as they are in your home.
False. In our opinion, sleepovers are unnecessary. As parents, we cannot monitor all interactions. At some point we go to bed. We do not know if the children we have invited to spend the night have been molested. Typically children who are molested feel the need to act out with other children the sexual acts that have been taught to them.
6. Good friends keep secrets.
False. Often secrets are told to keep facts quiet about something requiring assistance. There should only be surprises, not secrets. Explain to children the difference between secrets and surprises. Surprises are kept for a little while, such as, birthday presents and end of movies. They should never keep secrets quiet. Good friends are willing to help their friends with those things they feel are to be kept quiet. If your child shares that a friend or family member is being molested or is a molester you must go to the authorities immediately. Do not confront a suspected abuser. Leave the investigating to the professionals.
If a child feels uncomfortable with a kiss, respect their boundaries… this demonstrates that you do treasure their opinions.
They also may feel guilty. They may be scared because of threats. The perpetrator may not have left physical evidence.
For more detailed tips, read A Quarter Blue’s book Educating Adults to Empower and Protect Children. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for your free copy. Shipping $5.00